(Globe and Mail) Timothy Garton Ash—Germans squirm in the European driver’s seat

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Berlin republic is a European Germany, in the rich, positive sense in which the great novelist had come to use the term. It is free, civilized, democratic, law-bound, socially and environmentally conscious.

It’s far from perfect, obviously, but as good as any other big country in Europe – and the best Germany we’ve ever had.

Yet because of the crisis of the euro zone this European Germany finds itself, unwillingly, at the centre of a German Europe. No one can seriously doubt that Germany is calling the shots in the euro zone. The reason there is a fiscal compact treaty agreed by 25 European Union member states is that Berlin wanted it. Desperate, impoverished Greeks are being told “do their homework” by Germans. More extraordinary still, the German Chancellor is now telling French voters who to vote for in their own presidential election, through a series of campaign appearances with President Nicolas Sarkozy. Everyone says Europe is being led by “Merkozy” but the reality is more like “Merkelzy.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Foreign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010Germany

Posted February 9, 2012 at 7:28 am

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1. sophy0075 wrote:

Deutschland Uber Alles, just three-quarters of a century later and not from military means.

And from Asia, it will be China, rather than Japan, that calls the shots.

February 9, 2:06 pm | [comment link]
2. Terry Tee wrote:

It reads well until the end, with its call for Britain to come back to the centre of the EU.  Trouble is, this means further subjugation to an unelected, unaccountable group of people.  The irony is rich.  Germany is now deeply democratic, but the EU which Germany underpins suffers a deep democratic deficit.  This can never be sorted.  We need a European confederation, not a European supernation.  Until that basic point is grasped, the writhing around of the eurobeast will continue, I fear.

February 9, 5:13 pm | [comment link]

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